By: - November 30, 2020 7:59 am

Former Sen. Tom Casperson

Tom Casperson, a Republican former member of the state House and Senate, died Sunday of lung cancer.

Casperson, of Escanaba, worked at his family’s log trucking business before representing the Upper Peninsula in the state House from 2003 to 2010 and in the Senate from 2011 to 2018. He twice ran for the 1st Congressional District, but was defeated in the 2008 general election by then-U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) and in the 2016 GOP primary by now-U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet).

“This is terribly sad news and we’re devastated to hear of Tom’s passing. If you knew one thing about Tom, it was how much he loved the U.P. and everyone who lives there,” said state Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), who served with Casperson for years in the Senate. “He brought that passion for his community to the Legislature every single day that he served. Andrea and I send our love and support to his family as they mourn this great loss.”

Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox said, “I am incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of my friend, Senator Tom Casperson, after his long battle with cancer. I had the distinct pleasure of serving with him in the legislature, and I was always inspired by his commitment to our shared values and to the people of Michigan.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.